Today is National Dessert Day, apparently. I promised my daughter I’d make her one of her favorite desserts: chocolate cake pan cake. That’s cake-pan, not pancake. It’s a recipe that was developed back during the world wars era because it’s cheap and no milk or eggs are required. It’s also good for your water bill since you bake it in the same pan you mix it in. Easy enough for kids to make, too, although I am usually the one that ends up doing it. Go figure.
I got this recipe from the back of a flour bag. I sometimes use the recipes found on bottles, boxes or bags of ingredients such as chocolate chips, cocoa powder, key lime juice, flour, butter, etc.. They are tested in the kitchen labs of whatever company it is and you can pretty much bet the end result is the best they could come up with; the rave reviews I often get confirm that.
So, Chocolate Cake-Pan Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn vanilla
1 Tbsp vinegar
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup cold liquid such as water (original recipe), coffee (next inspiration), milk (later inspiration), or 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup rum (latest inspiration)
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Measure all the dry ingredients into an 8″ or 9″ round or square cake pan; if you use an 8″ pan, make sure it’s at least 2″ deep. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations.
Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third.
Take the cup of cold liquid (water, coffee, milk, etc.) and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until they are well blended. I usually go around the edges and corners of the pan with a small rubber spatula just to make sure I didn’t miss any powdery stuff.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes; test it with a knife, toothpick or such to be sure it’s done. Serve right from the pan; warm from the oven with ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkled with powder sugar or just plain. It’s all good!
Yield: 12 to 16 servings. Or just 4-6 if you serve it as a meal. I think you can make it count as several servings of vegetables since chocolate, vanilla, sugar and oil all come from plants. I am NOT a nutritionist, though, so take this advice with a grain of salt.
I increase the cocoa powder and, if I have and/or need them, will add chocolate chips. I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil, since that’s all I usually cook with. I sometimes will add nuts. As far as the liquid goes, I’ve moved into an experimental phase; last time, I used peppermint tea. The cake had just a hint of mint flavor, which is great with chocolate. Cinnamon is also good with chocolate.
So, try it out and then play around with the recipe a bit to make it your own. That’s what usually ends up happening at our house. For example, this past spring, I had a couple bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade that had been sitting in the bottom of the fridge since the previous summer. So, I substituted a bottle of the Mike’s for the beer in a beer bread recipe, added lemon extract and poppy seeds. Oh it was SO good. I’ll give you that one during lemonade season. 😉